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Bringing Baby Home... During the Holidays

Want to learn real techniques to bring on more calm this holiday season? Join me for my December workshop, Finding Your Calm.

Show of hands:  How many of you are expecting a baby this month? Or in December?  Or a New Year’s baby?

If this is you, first off, congratulations.  There’s no better holiday gift. But also, I know exactly what’s on your mind these days...  

As if waiting on your baby’s debut (early, late or right on time?) or bringing baby home (Congratulations, here’s your baby.  Now…

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How to Create the Holidays You Want For Your Family

In January, I’m holding a two-hour workshop for couples, covering all the things your birthing classes and your elders won’t teach you. If you’ll be a new or expecting parent in the new year, you should plan on joining me.

Let’s be really honest about the holiday season for a minute.

Yes, they’re magical.

Yes, they’re fun.

Yes, they’re beautiful.

Yes, they’re full of friends, and family, and traditions we love.

BUT….

They’re also BUSY. They’re also STRESSFUL. They’re also EXPENSIVE.

And,…

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Slowing Down to Make Space for Gratitude

In January, I’m holding a two-hour workshop for couples, covering all the things your birthing classes and your elders won’t teach you. If you’ll be a new or expecting parent in the new year, you should plan on joining me.

A gratitude practice doesn’t solve all our problems.  


There, I said it.  It really doesn’t.


I know, I know.  I spent an entire blog post last week talking about the benefits of gratitude and different types of gratitude practices.


But, when gratitude doesn’t work, I…

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How to Make Gratitude a Daily Practice to Feel Happier, Healthier & More Connected


 If you’ve been on social media lately, I’m guessing your feed has been inundated with three things in the last week:  

Halloween photos, midterm election posts, and 30-day gratitude challenge posts.


By now, the Halloween posts are probably waning.  The election posts--or political posts in general--don’t show any signs of stopping though.  But, at least right now, there are more celebratory posts than angry rants, right?


And if you haven’t seen any gratitude posts on your feed, then yo…

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Honoring the Baby You Lost

If you’ve ever miscarried or lost a baby, you might feel the expectation from the people around you to bounce back or move on.  You might even place that expectation on yourself.


Maybe “expectation” isn’t even the right word.  


It’s more like, life just continues on like normal with or without you being ready for it.  As if your baby or your pregnancy wasn’t real or never happened. Like it was here and now it’s just….gone.  


Many moms don’t discuss it.  Maybe you’re one that didn’t.  Yo…

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4 Things to Know About Grief


 

Grief affects every one of us sooner or later.


I’ve been talking all month about the specific grief that comes from losing a pregnancy or losing your baby.  There’s no other kind of grief that is quite like it.


And, unfortunately, it’s a quiet grief.  It’s not one we talk about much. In fact, there’s probably a woman you know who is dealing with this right now and you have no idea.  We tend to keep it to ourselves--either because we’re afraid no one will understand, or we feel like we…

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Resources for Parents Grieving a Miscarriage or Baby Loss

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Last week, I talked to you briefly about how October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage or lose their baby. This means that you definitely know someone in your family or social circle who has experienced this.  


So, today, I want to share some resources I rely on with you that might help you if you’re struggling with this or know someone who is.

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These are online resources that can help, no matter where you live, plus a couple that…

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Dealing With the Grief of Miscarriage & Baby Loss

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October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.  This is so important for every one of us to be aware of--because even if you’ve never experienced this yourself, I can almost guarantee someone close to you has.


1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage or lose their baby in their lifetime.  Think about that for a minute. 1 in 4. Think about how many women you know. And maybe a few of them have told you (or you heard through the grapevine) that they’ve experienced this kind of loss, …

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Parents, Look for Signs You're Succeeding

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I’ve been talking a lot on the blog lately about ways to get the support you need when you’re really doubting yourself as a parent--how to know when you need advice and when you just need encouragement, what to do with advice that doesn’t fit, and dealing with unsolicited advice from relatives and strangers.  


Today, though, I want to talk about finding that inner confidence as a parent, so that you can squash self-doubt and overwhelm all on your own.  Truth be told, it doesn’t happen ov…

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Are You Looking For Advice or Encouragement? (How to Know What You Need.)

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Are you the kind of mom that appreciates parenting advice from others?

Or, does that stuff annoy you every time?

Maybe it depends on the situation, the question, the messenger.


Every mom I know feels vulnerable and questions themselves at least once in a while.  (There’s nothing quite like motherhood to make even the most confident, competent woman question herself.)

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With time, of course, we learn a whole new level of confidence, not sweating the small stuff or comparing ourselves t…

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3 Communication Tips for Parenting Couples to Get the Support You Need

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Today, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  


Last week, I talked to you about the role of grandparents in our lives and why it’s so important to communicate with your little ones’ grandparents about what kind of support you need.


They all want to be involved in their own way.

 

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  • But sometimes they aren’t the type to jump in and handle things because they just don’t want to step on your toes.


  • Sometimes they are comfortable with jumping in to lend a hand, but they just…

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Getting the Support You Need from Your Baby's Grandparents

Honest Insights for Expecting Couples

Come join me for Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year to learn all the stuff the books and doctors don't tell you, so you can thrive as parents and partners.

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Grandparents Day was this past Sunday.  I don’t know if this is a thing people actually celebrate, but maybe we should be.


The role of a grandparent in a kid’s life can be such a special thing.  I know I felt a special closeness to my own grandparents. Maybe you did t…

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Top 5 Excuses Moms Say about Why They Don't Practice Self-Care

Honest Insights for Expecting Couples

Come join me for Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year to learn all the stuff the books and doctors don't tell you, so you can thrive as parents and partners.

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Confession time, mommas.  Sometimes self-care is really hard to be consistent with.  Even for a therapist and mom like me.

 

I think we all struggle with this one--at least from time to time, if not all the time.

 

And when we fall off the wagon with it or have strug…

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3 Real Self-Care Tips All Moms Need to Hear

Honest Insights for Expecting Couples

Come join me for Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year to learn all the stuff the books and doctors don't tell you, so you can thrive as parents and partners.

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I talk about self-care a lot.  Like, A LOT, a lot.

 

And it’s not just me.  Self-care became a buzzword years ago and it doesn’t show any signs of disappearing anytime soon.

 

I think this is a good thing… and a bad thing.

 

It’s great because we would all do bette…

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Are You Spending Enough Time with Your Kids?

Self-care isn't just about luxury pedicures, momma.

If you want to go deeper to understand how you deal with the pressures of motherhood and how to do better for yourself and your family, join me for my Just Between Moms Therapy Group starting August 22, 2018.

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More and more, I hear from moms that they worry they aren’t spending enough time with their kids.  

 

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And, I mean, it makes sense.  Many of us moms work, which means someone else is doing the caregiving for a significant portion…

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Manage Your Task List Like a Boss Even with a New Baby at Home

Sometimes motherhood is made better with a simple life hack.  And sometimes you need a little extra support. 

If you want to go deeper to understand how you deal with the pressures of motherhood and how to do better for yourself and your family, join me for my Just Between Moms Therapy Group this August.

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Last week, I showed you how to use my Postpartum Support Matrix worksheet to help you determine where you need extra help and support right now and over the long term.  

 

This week, I’…

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How to Start Asking for Support When You Don't Even Know What to Ask For

Sometimes motherhood is made better with a simple life hack.  And sometimes you need a little extra support. 

If you want to go deeper to understand how you deal with the pressures of motherhood and how to do better for yourself and your family, join me for my Just Between Moms Therapy Group this August.

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Are you a new mom or dad that feels like you’re doing too much and can’t keep up? 

 

Are you so overwhelmed or exhausted that you can’t even think of what to delegate when people ask ho…

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Life Hacks for Parents: Solving the "What's for dinner?" Dilemma

Sometimes motherhood is made better with a simple life hack.  And sometimes you need a little extra support. 

If you want to go deeper to understand how you deal with the pressures of motherhood and how to do better for yourself and your family, join me for my "Just for Moms Therapy Group" this August.

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For years, I'd say the worst question anyone could ask me is "What's for dinner?" 

I know I'm not alone in this.  Whether you love to cook or not, it's the deciding what to make that is t…

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Surviving Road Trips with Kids

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Today is the 4th of July, a day for celebrating freedom and independence.  But when you’re a parent, our experience of freedom changes a little bit, doesn’t it?  It’s suddenly not quite so easy as hopping in the car spontaneously and driving for hours and hours.

 

But, still, road tripping with kids can be done.  It just requires a little more planning and different expectations.  In fact, our family takes a road trip this time of year every year.

 

Our kids are 8 and 5 years old, so we…

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A Conversation Around Community: Catherine O'Brien Interviews Dr. Jacqueline Schoemaker Holmes

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One of the most common issues moms bring up to me is that it’s so hard to find their mom tribe.  Whether it’s online or in real life, it’s hard to figure out where we fit in or find that place where we can feel supported and not judged for our choices, fears and struggles.  

 

And yet, I really think it’s one of the most important things for all moms to have in place--that circle of friends who get it, who can lift us up when we’re down or just let us cry without offering advice or critic…

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Trouble Sleeping? This might work for you!


 

We all know the magical powers of sleep.  And we all know that most of us--no matter who we are or what we do--aren't getting nearly enough. 

 

We're all just so busy.  We're overbooked and overstretched.  We give too much.  We spend too much time staring at screens, taking in a constant flood of new information.

 

Our nervous systems are constantly bombarded with things to process and not enough downtime to actually process all the things.  This causes wear and tear on our brains and h…

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Dads Interview with Quentin Hafner

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’re probably familiar with my Momma Interviews series.  I’ve loved doing them and I frequently get positive feedback from readers saying how much they look forward to them.

 

But I feel like we’re only getting half of the story.  

 

I’ve been wanting to do a series of Dads Interviews for such a long time.  And today--just in time for Fathers Day this weekend--I’m so excited to kick off the Dads Interviews series with Quentin Hafner!

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MMHA Month Recap: Perinatal Mood Disorders, Sharing Your Story, & Simplifying Motherhood *BONUS RESOURCES INSIDE*

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Well, May has come and gone and summer is in full swing.  But, just because Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month is over doesn’t mean the conversation is over.  Maternal Mental Health is important 365 days a year.

 

So, we might be well into June by now, but I want to recap what we discussed in the last month and share with you some weekly tips videos I did over on my Facebook page.  

 

I completed and shared with you 7 all new Expert Edition Momma Interviews:

 

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Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Michelle Peterson

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

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Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Cassie Owens, LPC

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Elizabeth O'Brien

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Jessica Porten

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Nikki Reeves

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Jacqueline Cohen

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Jennifer Moyer

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May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn…

Read more…

Guest Blog: 5 Tips for Healing Postpartum Depression & Anxiety from a Holistic Nutritionist

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Written by Rebekah Fedrowitz

 

Becoming a new mom is one of the happiest times in a woman’s lives. The love and joy that comes from simply watching your baby is unlike any other experience, filling you with love, satisfaction and contentment.  

 

But what happens with those emotions are juxtaposed with feelings of worry, anxiety, and even sadness?  The love and joy are welcomed, but the others are not, and the combination of feelings can be overwhelming.

 

That’s what happened to me.

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Visitors or no visitors? Managing friends and family after baby arrives

WANT TO MEET OTHER MOMS WHILE LEARNING HOW TO SURVIVE BABY'S FIRST YEAR?

JOIN ME FOR MY UPCOMING WORKSHOPS, NOW OFFERED IN BOTH SACRAMENTO AND NEVADA CITY!

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“I just had my baby 4 days ago and I feel like I haven’t been able to spend alone time with her at all. My family and friends keep calling and stopping by the house without warning. I don’t want to be mean by telling them not to come over, but I really just want time to bond with my baby right now. Is that bad? What should I do?”

 

I…

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When You’re a Mom & She Isn’t

WANT TO MEET OTHER MOMS WHILE LEARNING HOW TO SURVIVE BABY'S FIRST YEAR?

JOIN ME FOR MY UPCOMING WORKSHOPS, NOW OFFERED IN BOTH SACRAMENTO AND NEVADA CITY!

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Motherhood is a rite of passage.  It’s a kind of life (and a kind of love) that you can only truly understand if you’re also a mom yourself.  So, what about our friends that haven’t birthed babies or otherwise become parents to little humans? 

 

I often hear from moms that it feels like there’s a disconnect in the friendship once one…

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Tips for Navigating Mom Groups on Facebook

Want to meet other moms while learning how to survive baby's first year?

Join me for my upcoming workshops, now offered in both Sacramento and Nevada City!

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How do you feel about mom groups on Facebook?

 

I’ve been asking around about how other moms feel about mom groups on Facebook and other social media and the funny thing is, I’m met with groans every time.  I’m not surprised, really. More just disappointed for moms everywhere.

 

I guess we probably should have predicted this.  Road…

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Catherine O'Brien Featured on PsychCentral Offering Top Tips on Toddler Discipline

Calling all Moms & Dads!  I’d love to hear your unique experiences with parenthood and I know other parents would too.  

Would you like to share and be featured on my blog? Moms, you can sign up here, and dads, you can sign up here.

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When our babies are small, it can often feel like we’re trying to crack some mysterious code.  “Why are you crying? What do you need? What are you trying to tell me?”

 

Often times, we find ourselves thinking (even if only for a flicker of a moment), “Life w…

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How to Use Google Calendars to Connect with Your Partner

How will you stay connected once baby makes three?

Join me and a small group of other new and expecting parents for my upcoming workshop, "Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year"

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In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of scheduling time to connect with your partner.  I talked about how couples need time for both check-ins (the daily and weekly logistical and schedule-based stuff that keep your household running) and connection time (date nights and hangou…

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Making Time for Connecting with Your Partner

Are you struggling to stay connected with your partner now that baby has arrived?

Join me for my upcoming workshop, "Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year"!

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I don't know of a single parenting couple around that doesn't struggle with finding time for connecting with each other every now and then.  It's a real challenge! There's a reason why you hear of those empty-nesters who decide to divorce after the kids leave the house because they realize they don't really know …

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Moms Deserve Better: Resources for Moms with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

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A recent Facebook post went viral about a mother who was seeking help for Postpartum Depression, but instead of her being able to get the help she was seeking, it resulted in the cops being called, the mother feeling “more broken”, and with still no services in place to help her.  This is not OK.

 

I wish I could say that this was the first time I had heard of this happening or that it didn't happen right here in Sacramento, where we have been working really hard to get screening and incr…

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Surviving Sick Days with Your Baby or Toddler

Want to learn how to be the calmest mom on the block?

Join me for my upcoming workshop!

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Is it just me, or does it seem like this year’s cold and flu season is particularly rough?  Lately, it seems like everyone has taken the hit.  It has definitely shaken things up a bit at my household already.  

 

In January’s issue of Real Simple magazine, they put out a great article on how to survive sick days.  (The advice in it is genius.  It’s worth checking out.)  But, the focus is mostly on fa…

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Confessions of a Marriage Therapist: 2017 Reflections

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I don’t know about you, but I’m still riding high on new year’s vibes.  I’m so excited for what’s in store this year and am feeling really optimistic about what this year will bring for all of us.  One of the ways that I like to welcome the new year and honor myself for what I’ve lived through in the past year is to do a yearly reflection.  (I posted a blog about this last January.)  This helps me to really think about all the things I actually did do in the last 12 months, and not get disc…

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Best of the Blog: Here are the posts you loved most in 2017

Join me Saturday, Jan. 6th for my vision board workshop, "Ideal Day, Ideal year: A Moms' Day Out for Creating a Life You Love"!

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Well, moms and dads, it's been another interesting year!  To honor the work we've done over the past year and to help usher in the new year, this week I thought I'd highlight the most popular blog content we've put out in 2017.  These are the posts you've read and loved the most! 

And there definitely seem to be some running themes here.  (Not that I'm surprised-…

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Parents, What Do You Want More of in 2018? A Call For Your Input!

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Parents, I need your help!

 

I hope you've been having a peaceful, memorable holiday season.  For some of you, it might be business as usual by now.  For the rest of you, you might still be entertaining family from out of town or simply trying to recuperate from all the holiday celebrations.  

Wherever you are with it, I thought you might appreciate a reason to take a little time-out on your own.  So maybe we can help each other out?  


I really want to make sure that I'm providing you with …

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Video: Confessions of a Marriage Therapist "Goals & Feelings"

Want to create your ideal year in 2018?  Join me for a day of self-care and vision board making in my newest workshop, "Ideal Day, Ideal Year: A Moms' Day Out for Creating a Life You Love".

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This week's video is all about how, after I had run myself ragged as a mom, I finally learned to focus on how I want to FEEL over what I want to accomplish. 

 

In it, I tell you about my 3 favorite ways to start focusing on the right things.  With some practice, these habits will help you to natu…

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6 Ways to Stop Taking Things Personally as a Mom

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When you’re a mom, the unsolicited advice and passing criticisms from others can come out of nowhere sometimes.  

 

Because the holidays tend to bring about more family gatherings and social events, this can set us up for a lot of opportunity to to be on the receiving end of those comments.  Not to mention, with all the added stress and hustle that the holidays often bring with them, we might be feeling just a bit more frazzled or sensitive than other times of the year.  As if being a par…

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Slow Down to Stay Flexible this Holiday Season

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Recently, I had a conversation with another mom about that tricky phase many of us go through when we parents are trying to determine whether it’s time to drop a nap in our little one’s sleep schedule.  Sometimes babies and toddlers can be really good at sending us a mixed bag of signals--particularly when it comes to naps.

 

And now that we’re in the full throes of holiday season, I think this topic is especially important since many of us spend time traveling or going to holiday events …

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Owning Your Confidence as New Parents When Others Have Opinions

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Last week on the blog, I talked to you about managing outside expectations on your family for the holiday season.  If you’re wanting a quieter, simpler, more peaceful holiday season without the rushing around from this party to that dinner… First of all, I don’t blame you.  

 

Doing all that with a brand new baby or even a toddler can sometimes just be way too much.  Especially if you’re only doing it because you feel like it’s expected of you.

 

But also, I do realize that telling you …

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Setting Boundaries as New Parents for a Peaceful Holiday Season

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Well, the holiday season is upon us.  Thanksgiving is a week away and I swear it sneaks up on me faster and faster every year.

 

The holidays can be stressful, chaotic, busy for everyone.  This can be especially true for new moms.

 

I have couples tell me all the time how stressful the holiday season can be with a new baby at home.  They share that they feel obligated to make the rounds.  

 

I always tell them that they don’t need to do that.

 

Reading this now, that response might see…

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Weathering the Weather in this Season of Motherhood

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We’re officially within the bounds of “holiday season” by now.  We survived the time change (how did that go for your little ones, by the way?).   It’s getting darker way sooner than it was just weeks ago.  And fall is transitioning into winter.

 

This time of year, the sun sets so early in the day and even when it’s out, you might not always see too much of it.  Skies turn grey or overcast many days out of the season.  Northern California, where I live, definitely tends to get more preci…

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6 Things to Never Say to Someone Who Has Lost a Baby (And What to Do Instead)

Trigger Warning:

This post deals with the common experiences and needs of moms who have lost a baby.  If you have experienced a miscarriage or baby loss and the grief feels too raw for you right now, please honor how you’re feeling today and consider bookmarking this post for another day when you’re feeling stronger or more ready. 

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Last week, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wrote about some of the common threads experienced by moms who have miscarried or lost a b…

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Miscarriage & Baby Loss: 7 Key Things You Need to Know

Trigger Warning:

This post deals with the common experiences of moms who have lost a baby.  If you have experienced a miscarriage or baby loss and the grief feels too raw for you right now, please honor how you’re feeling today and consider bookmarking this post for another day when you’re feeling stronger or more ready.  Or, simply skip the content and scroll to the bottom of this post to access the short list of support resources I have included for you.

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This Sunday (Oct. 15) is Pregnan…

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